Tax dept asks people to explain old big transactions

Many individuals have in recent times received email communication from the Income Tax Department about certain significant or high-value transactions being visible in the taxpayer‘s Annual Information Statement (AIS). If you want to know the exact transaction related to this communication, go to the AIS/Compliance Portal and go to “e-Campaign”.

Who will receive this communication from the tax department?

According to a frequently asked question (FAQ) on the AIS/Compliance Portal, the Income Tax Department approaches the taxpayer for feedback on information received from various sources. The taxpayer may also be expected to submit a response or explanation on the queries asked under e-Campaign to complete the response process. The e-Campaigns can be related to:

  • Non-filing of return,
  • Certain significant/high-value transactions done by the taxpayer

Also read: Income Tax dept is calculating your tax liability by tracking these financial transactions.

According to Naveen Wadhwa, VP, Taxmann, “The communication visible in the AIS/Compliance Portal under the e-campaign tab is an intimation that the tax department has found certain information that does not match or is not commensurate with the income disclosed by the taxpayer in his ITR.”

Updated Income Tax Return can be filed by eligible taxpayers who want to rectify errors or omissions in previously filed income tax return (ITR) and wherein additional tax liability will arise on preparing revised computation of income. The due date to file an updated return for FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22) is 31st March, 2024.

“Since the deadline to file ITR-U is near, the tax department is sending emails pertaining to FY 2020-21 to some of the taxpayers stating that their case has been selected for e-Verification under e-Verification scheme 2021 visible under the tab “e-Campaign” after clicking “Notices” tab of the Compliance Portal. Mails are sent to those taxpayers who have not filed ITR or the information disclosed in the ITR filed does not match with the information available with the Department,” says chartered accountant Mihir Tanna, associate director-direct tax, S.K Patodia LLP, a CA firm.

Also read: Now a reference from VIP or Prime Minister Office (PMO) can help you to expedite pending tax appeals.

How to check if you have received this e-Campaign communication?

Login to the ITR e-filing portal, go to the pending action tab and click on “Compliance Portal”. After that, click on the e-Campaign tab and you will be redirected to another webpage. Here you will be able to see a list of transactions flagged by the tax department.

On clicking this list, taxpayers can see further information about the specific transaction for which the communication was sent. The specific transaction would be in red and marked as “e”. “e marked AIS transactions are the transactions which may not be disclosed in the ITR as per the income tax system as these are usually received after processing of the ITR for recent years,” says Tanna.

The screenshot below shows the communication a taxpayer received from the income tax department, as visible on the AIS/Compliance Portal under the e-Campaign tab.

KoinX

Source: Source: Punit Agarwal, founder, KoinX

As seen in the screenshot below, when individuals click on the transaction category mentioned on the e-Campaign list, a new web page lists the specific information category with “e” marking for which the communication was sent by the tax department.

KoinX

Source: Punit Agarwal, founder, KoinX

Other way to access compliance portal

The Compliance portal can be accessed by logging into the e-filing ITR portal, going to the Pending Action tab and clicking on “Compliance Portal”. Once you go to the Compliance portal, click on the Notices button.

Mihir Tanna

Source: Mihir Tanna, associate director, S.K Patodia LLP.

Tanna says that one of their clients received this communication for purchasing a house property in FY 2020-21. “However, this particular communication is not visible on the AIS/Compliance Portal (https://ais.insight.gov.in/complianceportal) but under the tab ‘Notices’ of the compliance portal (https://compliance.insight.gov.in/compliance/). Although both the portals are called Compliance portal, they are slightly different. We have found out that the AIS Compliance portal shows the newer cases while the Compliance portal shows the cases of old assessment years,” says Tanna.

The screenshot below shows a notice for FY 2020-21 under the e-Campaign tab of the Compliance portal.

Mihir Tanna

Source: Mihir Tanna, associate director, S.K Patodia LLP.

Given below is the screenshot of the notice one of Tanna’s clients received for a property purchase. This notice is visible only on the Compliance portal and not on the AIS/Compliance Portal.

Mihir Tanna

Source: Mihir Tanna, associate director, S.K Patodia LLP.

Why is the income tax department sending such communications

Tax experts say that the reason behind sending such communications is to increase compliance and authenticate financial transactions. According to Punit Agarwal, founder, KoinX, a specialised tax filing assistance platform, the purpose behind such communications is to authenticate the financial transactions, based on the information sourced by the tax department.

“Data from diverse channels such as TCS return, TDS return, specified financial transactions (SFT) return, and other pertinent avenues are analysed by the tax department. Also, the tax department systematically gathers and analyses data related to goods and services tax (GST), import/export activities, and transactions involving securities, derivatives, commodities, and mutual funds by leveraging information provided by various third-party entities,” says Agarwal.

What will happen if you fail to respond to the communication?

According to Wadhwa, a taxpayer has two options in such cases: provide feedback if the information is incorrect or file an updated ITR if a deadline to do so exists.

“If the taxpayer does not respond to this communication or the response is not satisfactory as per the tax department’s available information, then the tax department can start scrutiny proceedings or assessment for the escaped income if the evidence is substantial,” says Wadhwa. Whatever the tax department decides (scrutiny or assessment), an income tax notice under the specified sections would be issued.

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